The Ladykillers (1955)
Music professor Alec Guinness rents a London flat from sweet old lady Katie Johnson. He tells her that, from time to time, several other musicians will visit in order to rehearse. In truth, Guinness can't play a note, nor can his visitors: he's a criminal mastermind, holding court over a gang of thieves, including the likes of punkish Peter Sellers, homicidal Herbert Lom and punchdrunk Danny Green. The gang uses Guinness' flat as headquarters as they conceive a daring 60,000 pound robbery. After pulling off the job, the gang stuffs the loot in a railway station locker. To avoid detection, Guinness convinces the ever-trusting Johnson to pick up the money. Through a series of comic complications, Johnson returns home with a police escort, with neither the woman nor the bobbies suspecting that she's carrying a fortune in her suitcase. Mistakenly believing that Johnson has ratted on them, the gang reluctantly plans to eliminate her. The Ladykillers won an Oscar nomination for William Rose's screenplay, and a BFA award for veteran character actress Johnson. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Ladykillers
Nothing else like it.
As directed in a kind of damp, gray color palette by Alexander Mackendrick the film is one of the richest and most carefully-paced of the Ealing comedies.
Director Alexander Mackendrick ... reached a masterful apex of sorts with this wickedly hilarious movie's precise balance of situational comedy and stark murderous callousness.
worthy to see heavily maked-up Guinnes and pre-panther Sellers.
Most of the slapstick set pieces warrant a polite smile rather than a hearty guffaw.
Ridiculously funny dark comedy. Guinness is having way too much fun.
O delicioso humor negro é ainda mais ressaltado pelas ótimas performances de todo o elenco - em especial, de Guinness e Johnson.
The best of the Ealing comedies.
a wonderfully macabre comedy
Audience Reviews for The Ladykillers
Not as entertaining as the remake I felt, but was good to be able to compare the two, especially with the location differences as well.More
I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the person who recommended it to me, but the little old lady is worth the price of admission.
UPDATE: Saw this again today, and was a little more impressed. Although I still think it starts off rather slow, it has a deliciously twisted ending. I remember that Kind Hearts and Coronets had a similar arc. I'm wondering if that's the style of older Brit comedies in general. Maybe I shouldn't be in such a hurry to turn them off.
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